Saturday, April 18, 2020: More COVID Comfort Food: Spanish Tapas
Apr 24th, 2020 by Katekoster

Hi, like most of you, I am stuck at home with my family (parents, sister, and dog, Koko) as a result of COVID and New York State’s “PAUSE” Act.  Our family had talked about going to Spain this summer but I don’t think that’s going to happen, so for some COVID Comfort Food, I decided to make two classic Spanish tapas: Gambas as Ajilo and Tortilla Espanola.  We like this restaurant in NYC called Soccarat, and besides their paella, these are two are of our favorite tapas.

Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelette)

I made this first, really as an appetizer before dinner. (Tapas are small savory dishes, so that makes sense).  Ingredients for this are simple (potatoes, eggs, onion and olive oil), but I have never made it before so I found a recipe from Mark Bittman, one of my favorite food writers.

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First step is to peel the potatoes and slice them as thin as possible.

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Next step is to slice the onion.

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Next step: sautee the potatoes and onions until they are soft but not falling apart.  Remove from heat, drain the oil with a colander and let cool for a few minutes while you beat 3 eggs together.  Mix the eggs and potato/onion mix back together.

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Next step, back into the pan with the whole mix until the eggs set.  Once that happens you have to do this crazy flip thing to plate it.  You put a plate on top of the cooked eggs/potato and flip everything over.  Not easy!

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But the end result was worth it.

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Gambas as Ajilo (Shrimp with Garlic)

Ingredients for this are also simple: shrimp, garlic, olive oil and paprika (and of course salt and pepper).  I made a larger portion of this because we ate it as our main meal.

I used frozen shrimp (because we are sheltering in, and it was in the freezer).  After thawing the shrimp, the worst part of the prep: removing the tails from the shrimp.  Our family is a no shrimp tail family.


After that, I minced the garlic and sauteed it in olive oil.  It needs to soften but shouldn’t brown


Then it was time to add the shrimp, sprinkle with paprika and cook.  I also started some pasta to serve with the shrimp.  Traditionally, you eat it with toasted bread, so I did that as well.

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Finally, time to plate and eat.  I plated the shrimp with both pasta and toasted bread and added some roasted broccoli (mom made that). Buen Provecho!

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Sunday, April 4, 2019: More COVID Comfort Cooking: Turkey Chili
Apr 9th, 2020 by Katekoster

This morning I wanted to make more comfort food so I decided to make turkey chili in a slow cooker.  This is a really easy recipe, plus it uses a lot of beans (and my mom bought a lot of beans).  Ingredients are ground turkey, black beans, red beans, white beans, tomato sauce, corn, chopped onion, and of course chili powder.


The first (and hardest) step is to chop the onion…I hate chopping onions.

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Then you have to brown the ground turkey in a little olive oil.

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Then you add everything but the corn to the slow cooker: first the turkey, then the beans, then the onions, tomato sauce and chili powder.  You stir and let cook for 4 hours on high, 6-8 on low, and add the corn 30 minutes before serving.

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Here’s what it looks like about 4 hours in, before and after the corn.

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When you are ready to eat, add a few toppings (we had avocado, cheddar cheese and tortilla chips, sour cream is good too if you have it.

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Then it’s time to eat!



Sunday, March 29, 2020: More COVID Comfort Cooking: French Toast.
Apr 6th, 2020 by Katekoster

Today I decided I needed to make some french toast as part of my COVID-19 comfort cooking campaign. I like to use cinnamon raisin bread (although challah is also very good). Ingredients are simple: bread, milk, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon. Powdered sugar and fresh fruit are nice finishing additions.  Maple syrup is another option. First, I made my batter, which was just the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon mixed together. I soaked a slice of toast slightly on each side before cooking them with some melted butter on a pan. I cooked about four slices, most of which were stolen by my family members. Still, I enjoyed the simple breakfast and can’t wait to make it again!


First step is to make the batter. Combine eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla.

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Then soak the bread in the batter and sautee in melted butter until browned on both sides.


Top with powdered sugar and strawberries and its a wrap. Simple and delicious (and comforting)!

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